This story starts a while ago — years, in fact. In 2003, we purchased a pair of green cheek conures, one a turquoise male, one a cinnamon turquoise hen. They were pets and a very bonded pair.
Unfortunately, in 2008, Stilton, the male, died in an accident. His mate suffered a little but seemed to perk up, and got a little more social with me.
Insert a cross country move, some indepth house renovation, and eventually settling in, and I began to realize that Anisette (that’d be our GCC girl) was missing the company of another conure. She came out and about with my sun conure and my lovebird, but neither of them were a real friend for her.
So, I started keeping an ear out for a Pyrrhura conure, preferably male, who needed a home.
A semi-local breeder was rehoming a Pyrrhura conure because of his feather issues and because she couldn’t find him a mate. I went to visit and convinced her to give him to me. He came home today and is stuck in strict quarantine until we can get him to the vet for a full workup.
Meet Chipotle. Chipotle is a three year old, DNA sexed male crimson bellied conure (Pyrrhura perlata perlata).
As you can see, he has what may be the world’s crappiest feathers. All of that black is worn out feathers, not the coloring it’s supposed to be, and he also completely lacks a tail. This is what they’re supposed to look like.
But aren’t their red bellies cool?
He really does completely lack a tail. :) I have never seen a parrot with this bad of feathers. (Just as a quick note in case anyone’s worried: New World parrots very rarely get PBFD, and his feathers are completely normal in all the places that he wouldn’t have rubbed them against the bars/broke them on the bottom of his cage, so I’m not really worried about that. I think this is all diet, no toys, and poor cage.)
However, at least one of his issues will be very easy to fix. He was eating the generic crappy grocery store bird seed with no healthy additions, but when placed in his cage with a veggie/bean/grain mix, he cheerfully dug in as you can see in this blurry picture.
What other issues does he have? Well, he’s missing at least three toenails and part of a toe, so he can’t grip particularly well. He’s got a dented blood feather in his tail (and a ton of others coming in) that is threatening to break every time he flings himself into the air — so his cage is padded. His previous cage was a small, round cage with no toys and no good perches, so although his feathers are really, really bad, I think that if we can convince him to grow a tail, he’ll be beautiful in no time.
Here’s the magical thing. He’s a three year old breeder bird. He’s lived in a house, but he’s never been handled with anything other than gloves. He’s undoubtedly a little traumatized by the move, but he doesn’t bite, and he will calmly stay on a finger. As he’s a breeder, he’s undoubtedly also parent raised and he’s familiar with being around other birds, so I imagine he and Ani will do wonderfully together. All the reading I’ve done on this species has proven true, they really are something else. I can’t wait to get to know him better.
Also, isn’t he pretty? :)